Thank you for your interest in United States Canine Scent Sports™ and in becoming an approved Judge!  Judges are the face of USCSS™, help set the tone of every trial while allowing dogs and competitors to walk out of each Class and Game with their chin held high.  Judges must not only be knowledgeable in Scent Work, they must also be comfortable taking direction from the Chief Search Designer (CSD), possess great organizational and exceptional people-skills while also having the physical endurance to withstand the rigors of a Scent Work trial.  Below is a listing of minimum requirements necessary to be considered as a  USCSS™ Judge, although every Application will be reviewed on an individual basis:

Judge’s Handbook 



  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Must be a member of USCSS™ in good standing
  • Must be familiar with the Rules and Regulations of USCSS™
  • Must have full mobility and physical endurance to withstand the rigors of a trial
  • Must have a year or more of Scent Work experience
  • Preferably will have a NW2 or equivalent title in Scent Work but each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as we understand valuable experience can be gained without having earned a NW2 title.
  • Preference will be given to individuals who are currently Judges for other Scent Work-venues (e.g. NACSW, UKC, Performance Scent Dogs, C-Wags, Barn Hunt, etc.)
  • Judges from other dog sports will also be considered (e.g. Agility, Conformation, Competition Obedience, etc.)


WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO BECOME A USCSS™ APPROVED OFFICIAL?  Anyone interested in applying to be a USCSS™ Judge must complete a Judge Application for that position and submit the $25.00 fee via PayPal here.  Upon our review of the Application and receipt of the fee, we will schedule a short telephone interview in two-weeks time.  Should the Application be approved, the applicant will receive a welcome packet including all the necessary information for the said position and will be able to immediately officiate sanctioned USCSS™ trials.


WHAT IS THE 2-DAY JUDGE AND CSD CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP?  All approved Judges and CSDs must attend a 2-Day Judge and CSD Certification Workshop within 6-months of being approved.  In order for their attendance to count toward this requirement, officials must enroll in a “full working capacity”, meaning that they will attend both days, take the written exam and officiate the mock trial held on the second day.  Doing so will ensure that all of our officials are on the same page.  Those individuals who are interested in learning more about the organization or what is involved in becoming or being an official are welcomed to audit the Workshop.  However, auditing the Workshop does not fulfill the 6-month requirement for approved officials.


OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR USCSS™ OFFICIALS?  USCSS™ believes strongly in continuing education.  Therefore all approved USCSS™ officials must maintain biannual continuing education credits.

Click HERE to start the judge certification



Online Scent Work Courses courtesy of Scent Work University